Kyle Shanahan isn’t concerned about George Kittle’s lack of production

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
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The 49ers have plenty of great players. One of them hasn’t been playing as great as he has in the past. But coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t concerned about it.

During Shanahan’s midweek press conference a question was posed regarding Kittle’s dramatic dip in production in his last eight games. Making the slide more confounding is the fact that, in the three games preceding the decline, Kittle had tremendous numbers. So why, Shanahan was asked, has Kittle not had the same kind of production since then?

“The more Kittle is out there and healthy, the more he practices, the more he can get back in the routine,” Shanahan said. “I think that stuff will take care of itself. The plays that went to him, I thought he did a good job on in the game. Kittle affects the game in so many ways, the run and the pass. We definitely want to get him the ball more, but it’s something we’re not that concerned about. We think it’ll take care of itself as we get going.”

The numbers are surprising. On December 5, he had 181 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Seahawks. He then had 151 yards — on 13 catches — against the Bengals, followed by 93 yards against the Falcons.

Then came the dip. Twenty-one yards in the loss to the Titans. Twenty-nine in a win over the Texans. Ten in the regular-season gotta-have-it finale against the Rams.

The postseason wasn’t dramatically better. Eighteen yards paint the Cowboys. Sixty-three against the Packers. Twenty-seven against the Rams. After missing the first two games of 2022 due to a groin injury, it has been twenty-eight and twenty-four yards in two games.

That’s 425 in three games followed by 210 in eight games. Whatever the reason, it’s not what anyone is used to seeing from Kittle.

The good news is that the 49ers are 2-2 and convincingly beat the Rams without a major contribution from Kittle. If/when things get rolling for Kittle, the 49ers will be in even better shape.

9 responses to “Kyle Shanahan isn’t concerned about George Kittle’s lack of production

  1. Guys have bad games, even great players. Sometimes a couple in a row. He probably hasn’t even played bad, just hasn’t gotten the opportunities.

  2. Kittle is also a great blocker so he may be more involved in the run game. There are only so many opportunities for everyone. If Deebo or Aiyuk are getting more then kittle is getting less.

  3. So 635 in past 11 games as a TE that is great blocker? That don’t strike me as all that bad.

  4. Hahah, Kittle plays LT for right now. His opportunities in the passing game will be few and far between until Silverback returns.

  5. Matthew Stafford sure looked like he was throwing pics on purpose they could have had about six more.

  6. Whenever Kittle is on the field, he’s having an impact, whether they throw the ball to him or not. He’s taking defenders with him wherever he goes. The 49ers just beat the world champions with their second string QB, so Kittle is happy. Some guys would rather have a big stat line than a win. Not Kittle. He’s just as happy blocking, as long as they win. He’ll get his. Don’t worry.

  7. The answer is Shanahan. He’s using him as a right tackle because Mike McGarbage is a turnstyle over there without him. Now that Trent Williams is hurt, Shanahan started motioning Kittle to the left side to help block there.

    Frankly the 49ers are wasting Kittle’s talents and if Kittle was even a little bit selfish he’d be complaining by now. They’re paying him $15M annually to be a 6th lineman. It’s also led to an inordinate amount of soft tissue injuries as other lineman (offense and defense) roll up on him time to time in the trenches.

    Shanahan is a decent offensive play caller but completely overrated as a head coach. He’s risk averse, has zero confidence in his offensive personnel and worse, he deflects blame for anything and everything that’s keeping this team from bringing home another Lombardi.

    I’ve never seen another head coach so beyond reproach. “Offensive genius”…. SMDH. 🤬

  8. Ground Hog Kittle poked his head out and is ready to hibernate again and revert back to Street Clothes Kittle.

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